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About Stephen LetnesStephen Letnes is a visually impaired media composer from Minneapolis, Minnesota, public speaker, founder of Able Artist Foundation, and co-founder of 1 IN 4 Coalition and RAMPD. Stephen has written film scores for over 140 shorts, feature films, and documentaries including the 2017 "Bill Murray Comedic Shorts" award winning film "Lady Lillian'', the 2019 National EMMY nominated and Academy Award qualified film, "Beneath the Ink", and the 2021 regional Emmy nominated documentary, "Say His Name: Five Days for George Floyd".
As a public speaker, Stephen has spoken at Dragon*Con in Atlanta, lectured at Concordia College (Moorhead, MN), sat on panels at the University of Southern California, the American Council of the Blind (Minnesota chapter), and has been featured in Variety, THR, NY Times, LA Times, and Forbes.
In 2017, Stephen founded Able Artist Foundation (AAF); a 501c3 nonprofit that supports composers and musicians with disabilities from 32 countries through music software scholarships, instrument grants, and song contests. AAF also finds work for disabled individuals such as one visually impaired violinist who performed on the soundtrack for the Apple TV+ show, "SEE", starring Jason Momoa.
In early 2021, Stephen co-founded 1 IN 4 Coalition in Los Angeles which is an intersectional coalition of disabled creatives currently working in Hollywood focused on long-term institutional shifts to increase employment and authentic representation of disabled people in film, television, and media-at-large. In late 2021, Stephen also co-founded - and is the Treasurer for - RAMPD (Recording Artists and Music Professionals with Disabilities). RAMPD's mission is to serve as a resource for disabled recording artists and music professionals and their allies by amplifying disability culture, promoting inclusion, and advocating for accessibility in the Music Industry.
In April, 2021, Stephen received the "Sent Forth" alumni award from his alma mater, Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, was an advisor for Microsoft's Windows 10 for accessibility features, is an advisor at the downtown Minneapolis YMCA, and sits on the Disability Advisory Board at UCare insurance.
Recognition and Awards
Bill Murray Comedic Shorts Award | Lady Lillian
Television Academy | Beneath The Ink
© Recording Artists and Music Professionals with Disabilities LLC 2022